Earlier this week, the girls read a story about Johnny Appleseed and we decided to turn it into a mini-unit. E actually refused to participate, but L and I had a great time with Johnny Appleseed crafts, learning about the parts of a plant, making observations about apples and more! Take a look...
The story about Johnny Appleseed was included in the Houghton Mifflin First Grade Anthology, and it had a multiple choice reading comprehension test to go along with it, which L took. I try to give the kids reading comprehension problems every week.
When I was doing some organizing in our overflowing homeschool supply closet, I actually found some Johnny Appleseed dot paint sheets (which I bought 2 years ago).
While L was working on her dot painting, we sang a song about apples from this Bingo and spells A-P-P-L-E. The song must have made an impression on her because two days later she was still singing it to me!
We talked briefly about how plants grow from seeds, and then L completed these little puzzles (from a file-folder game) about the parts of a plant.
L completed a science worksheet where she had to label the parts of a plant. She worked so nicely on this activity.
Next I asked L to observe an apple and think of some words that describe it. Her descriptive words actually had nothing to do with the apple (I wish I could remember what they were now because it was so random and funny). I gave her some examples, too, so she'd understand what a descriptive word is. She drew a picture and wrote "apple" in her notebook (I was hoping she'd write some of her observations in her journal, but I didn't want to push her since she was doing such a wonderful job already).
I cut open the apple and L really enjoyed taking out the seeds and playing some math games with them: Count the seeds. Is it an odd or even number? Etc..
This Johnny-Appleseed mini-unit filled up our morning and I was so proud of how focused L was. I think she really enjoyed doing learning activities that were all based on a single theme.